In today’s statistical snapshot we’ll take a look at how the Washington Capitals performed against each team in the NHL over the course of the 2022-23 season. More specifically, we’ll takes a look at the cumulative possession metrics compiled against each team, against the Metropolitan Division, the Eastern conference and against the Western Conference.
By looking at the cumulative performances against each team, we can begin to glean additional insight as to the specific strengths and weaknesses of the Capitals and the teams (and strategies, systems and style of play) that cause them troubles. The perspective also assists in gauging their overall standing within their division, conference and the league.
CUMULATIVE POSSESSION METRICS PER TEAM
The following graph plots the cumulative total games played, expected goals differential and expected goals for percentage at five-on-five for each team the Capitals faced this season.
The green highlighted teams are 2023 playoff teams in which the Capitals posted positive possession metrics for the season. The red highlights indicate a few of the primary concerns. [Click to enlarge]
[The statistics used in this post are courtesy of Natural Stat Trick, MoneyPuck and the NoVa Caps Advanced Analytics Model (NCAAM). If you’d like to learn more about the statistical terms used in this post, please check out our NHL Analytics Glossary]
The Capitals worst performances were turned in against the Vegas Golden Knights, Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils, which is really not much of a surprise. The Capitals posted cumulative expected goals for percentages in the mid-30’s.
From a bigger picture,perspective, the Capitals also posted below 50% against the Metropolitan Division and the Eastern Conference. The Capitals also (unexplainably) posted sub-par metrics against the Columbus Blue Jackets, who finished 29th in the league with a team expected goals for percentage of 44.13%.
In the end, the Capitals finished with a team expected goals for percentage of 49.65% at five-on-five, good enough for 19th in the league, which is about what you would expect, considering how the season unfolded.
On the positive side, the Capitals turned in their best performances against the St. Louis Blues, Anaheim Ducks and Seattle Kraken. The Capitals also posted good possession metrics (>50%) against a total of six playoff teams: Seattle, Minnesota, Dallas, Edmonton, Florida and the New York Rangers.
The Capitals also did well against Western Conference teams as a whole (vs. out of conference), posting a cumulative xGF% of 52.69% in the 32 games they played outside of conference.
On a side note, the New York Rangers finished with a team expected goals for percentage of 49.10%, 22nd in the league, which shows how good goaltending can keep a team afloat and even make the postseason.
By Jon Sorensen
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The consistent poor performances against Columbus is bewildering.
There is such imbalance between conferences right now.
Jon Chase Clark transfer college Quinnipiac to Scared Heart university
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ESPN says that Ovi is the best selling jersey in the NHL and the Caps were 4th as a team. Ovi chasing his record has legs — it is selling tickets, it’s selling merchandise, it’s great not only for the Caps but for the other teams. People buy tickets in other arenas to come see Ovi. Expect the Caps to make a big deal of it and expect the NHL and its partners to make a big deal of it.